Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne announced Thursday the names of the four firms that will handle the “Louisiana: Pick Your Passion” tourism promotion effort.
Topping the list of 21 firms competing for the three-year contracts were Trumpet of New Orleans; Deveney Communications of New Orleans; Williams Creative Group Inc. of Shreveport; and Miles Media of Sarasota, Fla.
Some are current contractors, while others are newcomers.
“This is a very good blend of old and new based on our past experiences,” said Dardenne.
Each will play a different role in promoting Louisiana as a tourist destination.
Trumpet will manage a $3.4 million marketing and brand identity contract and will be responsible for advertising placement.
Miles Media landed a $1 million Internet marketing contract. The firm, which has an office in Louisiana, has the current contract.
Deveney and Williams’ “public relations” contracts are for $200,000 each. The Williams deal includes subcontracts with Peter A. Mayer Advertising of New Orleans and Crystal Clear Communications, a minority owned agency in Shreveport.
Dardenne said his aim is “to make the limited dollars we have in our advertising and marketing budget stretch as far as we can.”
Initially, Dardenne said about $3 million to $5 million will be available for tourism promotion efforts, which could be supplemented with BP money that the company has earmarked for Gulf oil disaster recovery efforts.
“We will use the creative work that has already been developed for the balance of the calendar year,” Dardenne said, referring to the “Louisiana: Pick Your Passion” campaign launched this spring.
Dardenne said the current tourism effort is geared to areas within driving market area. “We are trying to reach out to other areas such as Little Rock, Atlanta and Memphis,” he said.
In the mix is some targeted buys on cable television networks with such things as food and history channels which tie directly into the state’s tourism plusses, Dardenne said. Dardenne noted the popularity of “Swamp People,” a cable television show that follows day-to-day activities of several Louisiana residents, including alligator hunting.
U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar’s nomination of prehistoric earthworks of Poverty Point in northeast Louisiana for the United Nations’ World Heritage Site list “elevates it on the world stage,” Dardenne said.
Dardenne said the state Offices of State Parks and Cultural Development are working with Interior to put together an application. The process should be completed in 2013, he said.
The site is operated by the Office of State Parks and is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday each week.